This medication is a cephalosporin-type antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections (e.g., skin, bone and genitourinary tract infections). Cephalexin is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.
How to use
Take this medication by mouth usually every 6 or 12 hours, or as directed by your doctor. You may take this medicine with food if stomach upset occurs. Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. Continue to take this medication until the full-prescribed amount is finished even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping this medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a relapse of the infection. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Cephalexin belongs to a class of antibiotics, called cephalosporins. They are similar to penicillin in action and side effects. They stop or slow the growth of bacterial cells by preventing bacteria from forming the cell wall that surrounds each cell. The cell wall protects bacteria from the external environment and keeps the contents of the cell together. Without a cell wall, bacteria are not able to survive. Bacteria that are susceptible to cephalexin include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, E. coli and several others.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then try to evenly space the rest of the doses for that day until you can return to a normal schedule. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Before taking cephalexin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penicillins or other cephalosporins; or if you have any other allergies. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, intestinal disease (colitis). This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: live vaccines, probenecid. This medication may decrease the effectiveness of combination-type birth control pills. This can result in pregnancy. You may need to use an additional form of reliable birth control while using this medication. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details. This medication may cause false positive results with certain diabetic urine testing products (cupric sulfate-type). This drug may also affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.